Hello, Stranger, Have Some Soup!

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Passover starts tonight, and the most important part of the celebration is called a Seder which means order. The order is prescribed in a little book called Haggada that we read at the table. The most important part of that is called Maggid which is the actual story of redemption and exodus from Egypt.  And the most important part of the story, repeated several times, is an admonition to share the holiday meal with a widow, an orphan, and a stranger because „you were strangers in a foreign land.“ The same admonition is found in many other Biblical and Talmudic sources.

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As soon as a started understanding the words in the Haggada, I asked about this line. Even as a little four- or five-year old, I sensed a lapse of logic: as strangers in Egypt, we had been slaves, sorely mistreated; we finally escaped, and, as a reminder of…

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